Pretenders by Lisi Harrison – (Pretenders #1)

Posted 17 October, 2013 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Danny's Book Review / 7 Comments

Pretenders by Lisi Harrison – (Pretenders #1)

Pretenders

by Lisi Harrison (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Series: Pretenders #1
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Poppy on October 1st 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonGoodreads
2 Stars
It takes place at a high school in New Jersey. Summer is over. Sophomore year begins tomorrow. Outfits are being planned. Lunch buddies are being secured. Texts are flying. All seems normal when…ping! Everyone in the sophomore class gets an email.

SUBJECT: The Phoenix Five: License To Spill.

Attached is a mega document.

A letter from a mysterious student starts the book. It explains that at the end of each year the school yearbook- The Phoenix- names the five most outstanding freshman. She (or he) always suspected that last years’ five (3 girls, 2 boys) were phonies. She (or he) always thought they tried too hard to be popular. But she (or he) never had the proof. Until now. She (or he) stole the secret diaries they were asked to keep by their English teacher. She (or he) has compiled them into a book.

This is that book.

When I first read the blurb I was super excited! I love the premise of mystery and High School Gossip. Sounds a little like Gossip Girl. I mean the usual High School madness and Teens who struggle to fit it.

Four Kids – Four POV’s – Four very different Characters

The story is told in Journal style from 4 different Teens who just started High School, and each of them is struggling with their own issues. We have a girl who desperately wants to keep good grades to keep her family together. We have a kid who was homeschooled before and now finally wants “normal”. We have the typical Queen Bee Wannabee and a boy is a typical golden boy, but with his own family problems no one knows about!

Mixing all these different characters and letting them tell their story in their own voice seems smart, however didn’t manage to win me over. I struggled already a lot in the beginning, it was super slow and hard to get into. One reason definitely were the too many POV’s

Over stylized Character

The whole story felt more like a Satire and the characters were definitely way overdone and felt over stylized. This can work and be lots of fun, but finally didn’t get me to connect to the characters. Sadly, I didn’t like most the kids. From the 4 Characters, Duffy (the Golden Boy) was okish and Lily was cute was way (way way) too naive.

And I guess you all know it, that connecting to the characters is a key point in loving a book, or connecting to a story. Sadly, it wasn’t the case here.

Weird and abrupt Ending..

So basically, the characters were way too weird for me, did weird things and basically were the kind of Teens I#d like to read about. And then the ending… super abrupt ending and not a typical cliffhanger, it felt more as if the story was just cut there to get a sequel. I was actually trying to turn pages in order to see if  I was missing something. Sadly there wasn’t anything. The ending even left me angry, as there was not a single thing resolved and everything in this book just leads up to the sequel

 

Bewitched Rating

Rating 2

Bottom Line

Sadly, Pretenders by Lisi Harrison comes with a weird character mix and way too many POV’s. The stories were all overdone and characters over stylized.

 

 contemporary

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7 Responses to “Pretenders by Lisi Harrison – (Pretenders #1)”

  1. I have to say, I hadn’t heard of this book before, so I just read the blurb and it sounded like a lot of fun. But after reading your review, it seems like there were huge flaws in the characterizations that made you not enjoy the book. I’ll probably stay away from it because I usually have a hard time with multiple POVs and if the characters are not connected, it’s even worse.
    Thanks for the lovely review, Danny.
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted..Review : Shadows by Paula WestonMy Profile

  2. The only book by Lisi Harrison that I’ve read is a Monster High book, and I didn’t enjoy it. The obscene amount of product placement and pop culture references, in addition to shallow characters, drove me insane. It’s looking like I wouldn’t enjoy her other works either. Great review.
    Jillyn recently posted..Review: The Scarpetta CookbookMy Profile

  3. Texas Book Lover

    Gotta say I hadn’t heard of this book before now. It sounds different.

    Would love Requiem…it is the only one in that series I haven’t read yet! Fingers crossed!

    Thanks so much!

  4. Olivia

    I would just like to point out that there are FIVE main characters, not 4. A few other friends and I actually really enjoyed this book.

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